The government has two and a half years left in office, and people are still waiting for the SuungJoen App and free WiFi. One of the government’s 25 pledges in the first 120 days in office was to “…develop the SuungJoen App to enable Bhutanese to communicate freely without the requirement for a recharge voucher.”
According to the Minister of Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), Karma Donnen Wangdi, the government is trying its best to develop the SuungJoen App, but due to COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry had to prioritize and develop other important systems, and could not work on the pledge.
“However, we should be able to keep our promises over the remainder of this government’s term. Before our terms ends, and these pledges should and will be fulfilled,” Lyonpo said.
He added that everyone would be able to converse freely and hold virtual meetings with SuungJoen App, which is beneficial for everyone, unlike Zoom that requires a fee to use.
“Zoom, once again, belongs to a third party. If we have SuungJoen, it will have zooming capabilities where people can have virtual meeting freely without having to worry about recharging data, or losing talk time,” Lyonpo added.
For now, Lyonpo said that COVID-19 has had an impact on the project since the ministry has been working on developing 10 more Apps that are most needed in the current situation.
The ten apps are the Entry and Exit System for Immigration, Health Facility System for Flu Clinic, Quarantine Management App, Druk Trace App, Controlling and Monitoring App, Check Post Management System for Royal Bhutan Police, National and Central COVID-19 Dashboard, Essential Goods Piling System for Economic Affairs, Vegetable Marketing Information System for the agriculture sector, and Essential Commodity Ordering System.
“Even though with lesser manpower, the team has done a commendable job, and we are trying our best,” Lyonpo added.